Watercolor on A2 paper
Artwork piece for Erlangen Comic Salon
2012, as a part of Comiconexxion Program with Goethe Institut Jakarta.
For us Indonesian participants, the theme for our artworks was 'Bhinneka Tunggal Ika' - A traditional principle in Indonesia which can be roughly translated as 'Unity in Diversity'. My take on it is focused in the guardian spirits and mythical creatures throughout Indonesia - of which our country really has plenty
Amongst the spirits and mythical creatures featured here are the Kuntilanak
, who was once believed to be a benign spirit particularly helpful towards women and children, the blue lady Kentring manik
and her two guardian tigers and the giant Mujair fish -who respectively guards West Java's land and bodies of water ; the Bunian
people, long believed to reside in forests (and in certain cases, whose world is superimposed with us ordinary people) ; Giant serpents said to guard large trees ; or the Wewe gombel
, who is said to take children who are ignored by their parents and secret them off until their parents worry about them - and many, many more.
In present times, a lot of these spirits are regarded with a negative/fearful attitude, some even outright demonized from their origins - Which are actually mostly benign and caring. In a way, I guess this goes hand in hand with people's continuing alienation with their root teachings and beliefs, as well as the land surrounding them. Which is kinda sad, but yeah :/
What are some of the local/traditional guardian spirits/mythical creatures in your home country?
I would be very much interested if you can share ^^
Hope you enjoy